Rome

Govt attacks 'illegal NGO migrant rescue off Libya (3)

Outside rules says Toninelli, go to Holland says Salvini

Govt attacks 'illegal NGO migrant rescue off Libya (3)

Rome, June 21 - Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli both launched high-voltage attacks on German NGO Mission Lifeline on Thursday after its Dutch-flagged ship rescued hundreds of migrants off the coast of Libya. "The Lifeline NGO ship is operating in Libyan waters outside all rules, outside international law," Toninelli, whose brief includes control of Italy's ports, said on Facebook. "They have taken on 250 boat-wreck victims even though they don't have the technical means to guarantee their safety or the safety of the crew," he added, saying he had asked the Italian Coast Guard to launch a probe. Interior Minister Salvini said the Lifeline should not expect to have access to Italy's ports. "Have you forced things by not listening to the Libyan and Italian coast guard? Fine, then you can take this load of human beings to Holland," Salvini said on Facebook. "Take the long route". Salvini has spearheaded the tough stance on migrants of the new League/5-Star Movement (M5S) government that saw migrant-rescue ship Aquarius, which is run by another NGO, have to travel to Valencia last week after it was denied permission to dock in an Italian port.

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